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Black Umbrellas Awarded Highest Accolade in International Business Incubation Awards

Black Umbrellas (SBU) has been awarded the coveted Randall M. Whaley Incubator of the Year award by the National Business Incubation Association (NBIA). The NBIA, an international thought leader and global advocate for incubators and accelerators, honoured SBU with the accolade at the 29th National Business Incubation Association awards ceremony, held in Denver, Colorado (USA).

The 2015 awards saw Back Umbrellas walk away with two prestigious awards. It was announced in March 2015 that SBU had been awarded the Dinah Adkins Incubator of the Year Award for a General and Special Focus Business Incubator. This award is aimed at incubators that serve a wide range of client types or serve clients in a nontechnology industry niche. The Dinah Adkins Incubator of the Year-Technology Focus award was given to Portland State University Business Accelerator.

Both Black Umbrellas and Portland State University Business Accelerator were in the running for the prestigious Randall M. Whaley Incubator of the Year award. SBU took top honours for their exemplary work and for embodying the NBIA’s principles and practices of successful business incubation.

Present at the ceremony to receive the awards, was SBU’s COO, Ms Seapei Mafoyane and Foundation Executive Director, Ms Donné Nicol.

“These awards are indicative of the dedication and hard work by our clients and employees in ensuring that SBU is a world class institution.” said Mafoyane.

SBU’s fundamental purpose is to promote and sustain 100% black owned businesses in South Africa. By engaging with client companies, donors, and mentors through the eight business incubators which it operates, SBU seeks to address the high failure rate of emerging black owned enterprises.

“We are honoured to be recipients of these awards and are pleased to receive a seal of quality for our work. We are also proud to be recognised by such a world class organisation as leaders in our field. ” said SBU CEO Mark Frankel.

SBU’s incubators are located in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Cape Town, Richards Bay, Port Elizabeth, Mooinooi and Lephalale where over 300 selected 100% black owned businesses are developed to a level where they may gain meaningful access to markets, networks and finance. With the revised B-BBEE Codes of Good Practice now in place, the internationally recognised incubation programme is perfectly placed to partner with local corporates in implementing effectiv


The Chartered Institute for Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) is an international organisation and is the leading voice of the procurement and supply profession with a global community of over 103,000 in 150 countries worldwide. CIPS Africa serves the purchasing and supply profession in the region and aims to set the standards for the profession and regulates the industry by promoting a code of conduct and ethics charter amongst its members.

Black Umbrellas and Blackpages have partnered with CIPS to ensure that our approach in the effective implementation of Enterprise and Supplier Development is aligned to supply chain industry best practice.


The Blackpages enterprise and supplier development portal is hosted by Supply Chain Network in association with Absa Bank.

Supply Chain Network in association with Absa Bank, provides a Procurement Portal with powerful technology to connect small business and big business with one another. The vision is to quickly and smartly facilitate business connections to stimulate economic and employment growth.

Our objective is to provide procurement tools to make it simple for procurement professionals to connect to valid small businesses who can successfully deliver against the required procurement targets. Through our alliance with Absa Bank we are providing small businesses with access to growth and development opportunities, required to best meet the needs of Big Business, effectively closing the gap between Big Business and Small Business.


Blackpages is an initiative of Black Umbrellas (SBU), a non-profit incubation enterprise development service provider spearheading sustainable and progressive economic transformation through empowered business growth.

SBU facilitates collaboration between 100% black-owned businesses, government, the private sector and civil society. Its strategic objectives are directed towards:

  • Opening 10 SBU incubators within South Africa, dependent on the availability of funding;
  • Supporting an average of 50 clients per incubator with each client remaining with SBU for a maximum of 3 years; and
  • Ensuring that at least 50% of the clients joining SBU become sustainable within 3 years.
The organisation currently supports over 100 businesses in its incubators located in Johannesburg, Durban, Pretoria and Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Richards Bay and the North West Province. These are associated with specific supply chain opportunities in the area.

Selected 100% black owned businesses are developed via the incubators to a level where they may gain meaningful access to markets, networks and finance.


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